Emotional vampires are stalking you even as you read this. They masquerade as regular people until the least discomfort turns them into vampires. It's not blood they drain, however, it's your emotional energy. They have the power not only to aggravate you, but to cloud your mind with self doubt and make you do things you wish you hadn't done. Bright talented and charming, emotional vampires pretend to be normal people who live by the same rules you do. You invite them into your life, and seldom realize your mistake until they disappear, leaving you with a pain in the neck or flat on the floor drained dry. Now the bestselling author of Dinosaur Brains provides a guide to dealing with the most difficult people in the world - people who drive other people crazy. As he demonstrates, emotional vampires look at the world through binoculars - viewing their own needs through the magnifying side, and other people's needs through the side that makes them small to the point of insignificance. If you're thinking they sound a lot like infants, you're on the right track. Who are these emotional vampires?
People no better than anyone else who believe their talents and abilities place them above the laws of nature; People with huge egos and tiny consciences, to whom looking good is far more important than being good; People who use their tempers in the same way terrorists use bombs; People who think you were created for their convenience - they take your time, effort, money, or love and give back nothing. Emotional vampires are not intrinsically evil. In clinical psychology therapists refer to them as Axis II disorders. The name refers to the diagnostic system created by the American Psychiatric Association. While Axis I is for immediate symptoms like anxiety or depression, Axis II is for long-term personality patterns that create the same destructive behaviors over and over. Dr. Bernstein identifies several types of these difficult people; a) narcissistic - people who believe the universe revolves around them; b) anti-social - those whose disdain for authority can lead to sex, drugs, rock 'n roll and even violence; c) histrionic - people who are overly dramatic; d)obsessive/ paranoid - people who are compulsive and suspicious of everything and everyone.
Emotional Vampires tells how to spot them in your life, which defense strategies to employ before something happens and, if need be, what to do when you find yourself under attack. This book distinguishes itself from the Difficult People genre by a) recognizing patterns of seemingly unrelated behavior that typically co-exist in the same individual; b) emphasizing the solution of the problem, as opposed to dwelling on where it came from.
Albert J. Bernstein, Ph. D., is the author of Dinosaur Brains, Neanderthals at Work, and Sacred Bull. A clinical psychologist, speaker, columnist, and business consultant, Dr. Bernstein is well known for teaching people to confront difficult and frightening situations with wit, wisdom, grace, and liberal doses of humor.